Focus on the Family is coming to Birmingham this weekend for what may very well be its last “Love Won Out” conference ever. Seems claiming gay and lesbian people can be “cured” isn’t as lucrative as it once was, and their funding is drying up, so they figure they’ll come to the south for one last hurrah.
We didn’t sit quietly by the last time they were here, and we won’t this time either. If you oppose the bigotry that tells LGBT people they must deny who they are, join us for these counter-events (press release here – PDF format):
- Wayne Besen, author of “Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth” (Haworth, 2003), former spokesperson for HRC and founder of Truth Wins Out, will be speaking at Alumni Auditorium at Hill University Center 1400 University Blvd., Birmingham on Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 7:00 PM. Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that defends the GLBT community against anti-gay misinformation campaigns, counters the so-called “ex-gay” industry and educates America about gay life. Our goal is to help people be true to themselves and lead genuine lives of honesty and integrity. Learn more about Truth Wins Out here: http://www.truthwinsout.org/our-vision/ This event is being co-sponsored by The Alliance for GLBT Equality at UAB and UAB’s Office of the Vice President for Equity and Diversity Certainly the GLBT community wants to attend, but especially young people, teens, questioning youth, their parents and the general public.
- Silent Demonstration/Prayer Vigil at site of Ex-gay Workshop; We will gather on November 7 at 7:30 AM near 2800 Metropolitan Way (next to the Hoover Board of Education) to offer parents an alternative: to love your children as they are, after all, they are a product of yourselves; to love them unconditionally; to hope for happiness and equality for your children; and an opportunity to seek faith in a loving God who does not make mistakes.
- Lunch-time Demonstration at site of workshop; Those able to return between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm on November 7 will show a presence as conference participants take their lunch break.
- Regular PFLAG Support Meeting invites parents and youths to attend to learn how the support system works and to make contact with others who have happily survived learning their children are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. The meeting is at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 4300 Hampton Heights Drive, Birmingham, AL 35209.
Love doesn’t push people back in the closet. Love doesn’t tell them to deny who they are. Love will truly win out when we embrace all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and lift them up to live their lives with integrity and wholeness. It’s past time we do just that.
ETA: Greg Garrison’s story (linked in my opening sentence) was embarrassingly unbalanced. He neglected to use any of the factual information provided in the press release and gave Melissa Fryrear of FoF paragraphs to spew unscientific rhetoric about a “therapy” that has been disavowed by every reputable mental health organization in the US. If you’d like to address this (respectfully, please), click here to email him.